Monday, October 1, 2018

PARK REVIEW AND A GREAT FOODIE FIND

Currently in Hillsdale KS (Low 65 Clouds Currently 68)
Heading to Belton MO (Currently 61 Fog then Mostly Cloudy; Humid High 77) 

We really enjoyed our stay at Hillsdale State Park near Paola Kansas. We are in the newest campground, Sunflower, and to us it is a really nice campground. The roads are asphalt and the sites are concrete with a concrete patio. We are in a long curved pull-thru with convenient hookups. Since it is a new campground there were no trees so we had no worries about our roof mounted satellite dish. There is a lot of room between sites. ATT cellular was pretty good at 2-3 bars. ATT 4g was kinda hit and miss. Sometimes it would be great and sometimes almost nonexistent. There is no park Wifi so we were dependent on ATT. If in the area we would stay here again. Here is the Lifestyle from the side since a curved pull-thru.


To the right.


To the left.


We didn't have a water view from our site but a few backins did have a view of Hillsdale Lake.


We may be back in the area if only to eat at a great foodie find, Beethoven's #9, a German-Italian restaurant in nearby Paola Kansas recommended by Jo's niece and her husband.


A lot of times at a new restaurant we get a couple of dishes and split them. We decided on jagerschnitzel with a mushroom cream gravy and beef stroganoff with red cabbage, warm potato salad and spatzkle as our sides.


Everything was wonderful as were the desserts that we took to go. A definite must visit whenever we are in the area for sure. Jo's niece and her husband like it so much they are moving closer early next year LOL

We depart today back to Belton Missouri for a couple weeks.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

ON THE ROAD AGAIN - TO HILLSDALE KANSAS

Currently in Hillsdale KS (Low 66 Foggy Early then Mostly Cloudy with a Thunderstorm High 78) 

After a few nights at Camp Baird in Belton Missouri we departed yesterday for Hillsdale Kansas near Paolo. We are staying at Hillsdale State Park.



It was approximately 45 miles, this is approximately the route we took.



We have a wedding to go to later in the week and we decided we wanted to be closer.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, September 22, 2018

ON THE ROAD AGAIN - TO BELTON MISSOURI

Currently in Belton MO (Low 46 Sunny High 72) 

After an overnight stay in Eagleville Missouri we departed Thursday for Belton, also in Missouri. We are parked once again in front of our friends Bob and Wilma's barn.


It was approximately 125 miles this is approximately the route we took.



We will be here a few nights and then head to Kansas for a wedding.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, September 20, 2018

ON THE ROAD AGAIN - TO EAGLEVILLE MISSOURI (AND A PARK REVIEW)

Currently in Eagleville MO (Low 66 Sunny Currently 73)
Heading to Belton MO (Currently 75 Sunny then Variable Clouds; Breezy High 90) 

After a week in Waukee Iowa we departed yesterday and headed to Eagleville Missouri. We are staying at Eagle Ridge RV Park.


It was approximately 90 miles, this is the route we took.



Our GPS devices had no problems this trip. The office staff was friendly and we had a long pull-thru since we were staying hooked up for a one night stop. The roads were gravel as were the sites. The full hookups looked convenient although we only used electrical. We had a good line of sight for our roof mounted satellite dish as can be seen in the following photo. We were in the new area of the park that is big rig friendly. Here is the Lifestyle from the front.


To the right.


To the left.


From the rear.


This was a nice park for an overnight stay. We depart today for Belton Missouri. 

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, September 13, 2018

ON THE ROAD AGAIN TO WAUKEE IOWA

Currently in Waukee IA (Low 61 Mostly Sunny; Humid High 83) 

After a one night stay at Elk Rock State Park, and great Chinese at Panda Garden in Pella Iowa with Mike and Angie, we departed yesterday and headed to Waukee Iowa and our go to place in the Des Moines area, Timberline Campground.


It was approximately 55 miles, this is the route we took.



We will be here a week visiting friends and family. 

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

ON THE ROAD AGAIN TO PELLA IOWA AND REVIEW OF ELK ROCK STATE PARK

Currently in Pella IA (Low 55 Sunny Currently 72)
Heading to Waukee IA (Currently 70 Sunny; Beautiful High 81) 

After almost a week in Cedar Falls IA we departed yesterday and headed to Elk Rock State Park near Pella, also in Iowa.


It was approximately 115 miles, this is approximately the route we took.



It was an interesting trip with 3 different GPS devices that had 3 different routes. We decided to go the route as directed by the Rand McNally Good Sam GPS and it brought us right to the campground. The roads were gravel as were the sites. We were in a long curved pull-thru electric only site that had a good line of sight for our roof mounted satellite dish.

We were in the equestrianism area of the park although we never saw any horses, in fact we don't think we saw any humans either. Here is the Lifestyle from the front.


To the right.


To the left.


From the rear.


We unhooked so we go to Pella and meet Bob's college friend and his family at a Chinese restaurant that serves peanut butter chicken that we both really like. We would stay here again as the park is really nice but since it is electric only it would be for a short stop.

We depart today for Waukee Iowa.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

REVIEW OF BIG WOODS LAKE CAMPGROUND IN CEDAR FALLS IOWA - HEADING TO PELLA IOWA

Currently in Cedar Falls IA (Low 54 Mostly Sunny Currently 59)
Heading to Pella IA (Currently 59 Mostly Sunny; Nice High 81) 

9-11-2001 WE WILL NEVER FORGET!!

We were a little worried heading to Cedar Falls due to a lot of rain and some flooding. The Cedar River as shown here was out of its banks but did not impact us.


Our GPS devices eventually agreed upon the route and brought us right to the park. There are 56 sites in the park but only about 10 back-in sites are reserve-able so we talked to the camp host and switched to a site more to our liking, a long pull-thru. The roads were wide and asphalt and the sites were gravel. The full hookups were convenient and we had a great line of sight for our roof mounted satellite dish. Here is the Lifestyle from the front.



To the right, we are near the end of our row.



To the left.



From the rear.



We would stay at this park again at this park as there is a lot more to see and do than we had time for this visit.

We depart today for a one night stay at Elk Rock State Park near Pella Iowa.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, September 10, 2018

9 YEARS OF FULLTIMING - VIEWS OUT OUR BACK WINDOW

Currently in Cedar Falls IA (Low 45 Plenty of Sunshine; Nice High 75) 

We began living fulltime in our RV on September 10, 2009. This is mostly a picture posting. In our 9 years of fulltiming in our RV and traveling this great country we have had some great views out our back window. Here are a few of those views.














The cats enjoyed the back window too.





Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Sunday, September 9, 2018

SULLIVAN BROTHERS IOWA VETERANS MUSEUM

Currently in Cedar Falls IA (Low 51 Mostly Sunny; Nice High 71) 

We visited the Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum in nearby Waterloo. 


The five Sullivan Brothers (George, Joe, Frank, Matt, and Al) enlisted in the Navy shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor with the stipulation that they be allowed to serve together. Their boyhood motto was 'we stick together'. The Navy had a policy against that but it wasn't strictly enforced. They served on the USS Juneau CL-52. Here they are aboard the USS Juneau.


During the battle of Guadalcanal the USS Juneau was hit by a torpedo and was among a group of damaged ships leaving the area for repairs when hit by one more torpedo on November 13, 1942 that hit the ammunition magazines causing a huge explosion and the ship quickly sank.

Thinking that there were no chance of survivors due to the explosion the remaining damaged ships continued on. Unfortunately the order to search for survivors got lost in the quagmire of war and the search did not begin until 8 days later. About 100 survived the initial explosion, including George and Al. Frank, Joe and Matt were killed instantly. Al drowned the next day and George died from his injuries 5 days later. By the time the search was executed only 10 survived out of a crew of 697.

Because of security precautions of not wanting to provide information to the enemy the loss of the USS Juneau was not reported until January 1943. The 'Fighting Sullivan Brothers' became national heroes and their parents made speaking engagements at war plants. In 1944 their story was made into a movie 'The Fighting Sullivans'.

We walked through the museum.



It was eerie hearing a recording made in the 1930s of the Sullivan brothers singing 'When Irish Eyes are Smiling' playing while we were walking through the museum. There was recreation of the Sullivan family living room that was neat to go through.  The museum had a display of ships and Jo was happy to see her father's ship, the USS New Mexico, as one of the ships displayed.



After our tour we went to the gift shop and bought a t-shirt and 'The Fighting Sullivans' DVD. We watched the movie and the extras soon after our visit.

We always like to provide some tidbits that people may have forgotten about this time in our history. The USS Juneau was very close to having another terrible brother tragedy. Four Rogers brothers (Joseph, Patrick, Louie and Jimmy) also served on the USS Juneau. But in October 1942 Joseph and Jimmy, both boxers, transferred to a supply ship that had a good boxing room. The remaining brothers perished with the Sullivans about a month later.

Another family, the Borgstroms, lost four brothers (Leroy, Clyde, Rolon and Rulon) from March-August 1944 in four separate engagements. Because of this the family petitioned for another son, Boyd, already in the service to be released and for another son, Eldon, below enlistment age to be exempted. Because of the Borgstroms and the Sullivans the US War Department adopted the Sole Survivor Policy. The movie 'Saving Private Ryan' was inspired by the stories of the Sullivan and Borgstrom brothers.

Finally, the movie 'The Fighting Sullivans' was originally titled 'The Sullivans'.

It was a great place to visit which we highly recommend. The sacrifice that these families made, and countless others have made for our country and our flag, we cannot ever support those that refuse to stand for our National Anthem.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, September 6, 2018

ON THE ROAD AGAIN TO CEDAR FALLS IA

Currently in Cedar Falls IA (Low 58 Times of Clouds and Sun High 73) 

After one night in West Salem Wisconsin we departed yesterday for Cedar Falls Iowa. We are staying at Big Woods Lake Campground.


It was approximately 150 miles, this is route we took.



We will be here for almost a week with friends and family joining us in the campground beginning this evening.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

ON THE ROAD AGAIN - TO WEST SALEM (AND A PARK REVIEW)

Currently in West Salem WI (Low 65 Early Rain then Cloudy Currently 69)
Heading to Cedar Falls IA (Currently 68 Showers and Storms in Area High 71) 

After a great week with our friends Bob and Carol we departed yesterday for West Salem WI. We are staying again at Neshonoc Lakeside Camping Resort.


It was approximately 130 miles, this is approximately the route we took as a slightly different route to avoid bad roads was suggested by Bob and Carol.



GPS brought us right to the Neshonoc Lakeside Camping Resort, a Thousand Trails Park. The young gal in the office was friendly but apparently has never driven thru or stayed in the park. We wanted a long pull thru that we could stay hooked up and still get a satellite signal but it wasn't going to happen. There had been a lot of rain and the site was really muddy so we asked for another one, this one with a better line of sight. The roads are asphalt and the sites are grass. We had rain so we didn't take photos. The ATT cellular and 4g signals were strong. The hookups were convenient.

We depart today for Cedar Falls Iowa.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

REVIEW OF FOUNTAIN LAKE RV PARK NEAR ALMOND WISCONSIN

Currently in Almond WI (Low 61 Storms Around Currently 70)
Heading to West Salem WI (Currently 72 Storms and Thunderstorms High 84) 

Fountain Lake RV Park is a membership lease ownership park near Almond Wisconsin. We had the advantage of following Bob and Carol to their park so they knew the best way, including a great truck stop for a break. Although we were able to navigate the narrow roads I really wouldn't call it big rig friendly. Following Bob and Carol helped here too as they knew to tell us to swing wide and what to avoid during and after the turns. We got in and settled and had our first fire, in fact with the rain we had during our stay it was our last fire.



The roads were gravel as was our site with a concrete patio. The hookups were convenient and we had a great line of sight for our roof mounted satellite dish. Here is the Lifestyle from the front. We were at the end of the row with Bob and Carol's RV next to us.







Here is a better view of the front.




To the right.



From the rear.



We depart today for West Salem, also in Wisconsin, after it stops raining here. We've talked a lot about our friends Bob and Carol, here they are during our visit to Clearwater Harbor.



Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, September 3, 2018

WISCONSIN DAIRY STATE CHEESE COMPANY AND CLEARWATER HARBOR

Currently in Almond WI (Low 66 Periods of Rain and a Thunderstorm High 80) 

A tradition of those who stay at this park is at least one trip to the Wisconsin Dairy State Cheese Company near Rudolph Wisconsin, about 50 miles from the park.


We were amazed at how shiny the cheese vats were.


While shopping for cheese, and we bought a lot of cheese, you can see them making cheese.


So far we've had some of the varieties and we now know why it is a tradition to visit this place. If campers are going to be at the camp for a while they visit just after they get here and just before they head home.

We also went to the Clearwater Harbor and ate chicken wings. Then we walked on the dock and saw one of the Chain O' Lakes.


Here is the paddle boat coming back from a tour.


There is a lot to see and do here, one of those places that you wish you had more time for.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo